- The Government of India launched the National Edible Oil Mission-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) to boost domestic oilseed production and make the country self-sufficient in cooking oils. It was launched in 2021.
- With palm oil having 55 per cent share in total edible oil imports, NMEO-OP would ensure that farmers get all facilities, from quality seeds to technology to promote cultivation of palm and other oil seeds.
- While India has become self-sufficient or Aatamnirbhar in the production of rice, wheat and sugar, it was not enough as the country is dependent on huge imports of edible oils.
- India is the world’s biggest vegetable oil importer. India produces less than half of the roughly 2.5 million tonnes of edible oil that it consumes annually.
- It imports the rest, buying palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, soyoil from Brazil and Argentina, and sunflower oil, mainly from Russia and Ukraine, with the import bill hovering around Rs 75,000 crore per year.
- The increase in cultivation of oil palm will not only benefit farmers but also consumers who would get quality cooking oils at a cheaper rate.
- Besides, it would benefit processors and the entire value chain, thereby creating job opportunities.
Why in News?
- With an aim to increase the oil palm production area to 10 lakh ha., and boost the Crude Palm Oil production to 11.20 lakh tonnes by 2025-26, the Government of India launched National Mission for Edible Oils- Oil Palm in 2021.
- Under the Mission, the State Governments along with Oil Palm processing companies have initiated a Mega Oil Palm Plantation drive from 25th July 2023 to further increase the oil palm cultivation in the country.